One of the hottest stories of the wrestling world as of late has been Chris Jericho’s appearance on the Broken Skull Sessions with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. This is the first time that Y2J has been back on a WWE program since leaving the company for AEW, and the first time that a current AEW star has been seen on a WWE show.
Check out a clip that you won’t see on the show:
The interview begins with Austin and Jericho talking about AEW and the formation of the company. Jericho talks about his relationship with Tony Khan and how everything came together. They needed talent, finances, and a television deal. Jericho talked about how he, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page and The Young Bucks’ contracts were all coming up at the same time and how they really had an opportunity to do something special. He also talks about how AEW is not competition, it’s just them doing their own thing.
Jericho then talked about why he left WWE. He felt that he would never have the opportunity to be the “main guy” in the company, and he felt that way after his match with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 2016 was moved to the second match on the show after being slotted for the main event. He then went to New Japan and headlined with Kenny Omega at the Tokyo Dome, which was the catalyst for him to be the headliner and one of the main figures of AEW.
They then talked about Jericho’s childhood and how he got into the business. He grew up in Canada and being a fan of the business and loving the heels and became a student at the Hart wrestling school in Calgary. From there, he spent time in Japan and Mexico and he talked about how they wanted to beat Jericho up because he was a foreigner.
Austin then asked about Jericho as a student and Y2J mentioned that he was terrible. However, he said that everyone has to finish high school because it leads to other things. They also talk about Jericho’s new book, “The List of Jericho”, which lists all of the matches that Jericho has had over his 30-year career. From the beginning, Jericho was always focused on this character, as opposed to learning more about the in-ring work. And that character has lasted him over 30 years.
They then discussed ECW and how Jericho ended up there. After seeing a match with Ultimo Dragon and him from Japan, Paul Heyman eventually signed him after a year of the two going back and forth on the phone. Furthermore, Eric Bischoff happened to be in Los Angeles when Jericho was in a match with Konnan and Bam Bam Bigelow. Bischoff saw the match, saw Jericho get the win, and was signed to WCW.
They then showed the clip where Jericho recited 1004 holds that he knew on an episode of Nitro. Jericho said that the crowd was booing because he put down all of the Chicago sports teams during the commercial break (the show was in Chicago), and he learned that you have to make the most of your television time, no matter whether it is 1 minute or 10 minutes.
Afterward, they showed the clip of Jericho trying to find his way to the ring from Fall Brawl 1998 and he ended up outside of the arena. This was an homage to a clip from “This Is Spinal Tap”, which I had no idea was the case. He then shared the story about how Ralphus came to be and how Ralphus was a truck driver that would just hang around the stage. Because Goldberg had security guards bring him to the ring, Jericho decided to emulate that for comedic value.
They then talk about how Jericho made his way to WWE. Y2J always wanted to work for Vince McMahon, and he knew that he had hit his ceiling in WCW when they wouldn’t let him work with Goldberg in a program. He said that his time with WCW fizzled out as he and Bischoff could never come to an agreement on how his exit would come, and Jericho ended up just working house shows.
Jericho then told his story about his initial meeting with Vince McMahon. While under contract with WCW, he took a meeting with McMahon and went to Vince’s house, where he ended up sitting in on a booking meeting for an episode of Raw. McMahon asked Jericho his opinion on what the finish for one of the matches should be! Later on, Jericho asked Vince why he was brought to his house and Vince said that he wanted to know if he could trust Jericho.
They then talk about his debut and how Jericho would be the Millenium Man on his debut on Raw. He was going to open the show, but Vince said that he was going to start the second hour and interrupt The Rock, which Jericho attributed to McMahon and his genius-ness. He said that the reason that it worked is because there were only a few talking points that were scripted; the rest of it was just Jericho being his natural, charismatic self.
Jericho said that his debut in WWE was one of the best of all time because there was a build to it and because of the Millenium Man vignettes that played before his debut. He also said that he got some heat from the locker room after burying them on television because the Monday Night Wars were real and a WCW person was making such a splash right away in WWE.
They then showed the clip of Chris Jericho winning the WWE Championship from Triple H on an episode of Raw. Jericho was going to leave WWE because he wasn’t being used properly, but he ended up getting a shot and ended up having great chemistry with Triple H. It was also a test to see if Jericho had something, and it turns out that he did because the crowd went nuts when Y2J won the match, even though he had to give the title back, due to the storyline.
They then talked about Chris Jericho defeating both Austin and The Rock in the same night at Vengeance 2001 to become the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Jericho then told the story about how he found out that he was going to win the title; Vince ribbed him backstage a few hours before the show, which is when he learned that he would be champion. Austin also said that the finish was so convoluted, that they had to call it in the ring, because they weren’t sure how it was going to end.
Fast forward, they then talk about Jericho’s match with Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania 19. After a great match, Jericho got amazing heat for turning his back on Michaels and giving him a low blow, when they were going to have a happy, respectful moment. Jericho said that he learned that night that it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, it matters the reaction that you get from the crowd. He also said that the chemistry between the two of them was unbelievable, and they each figured out a different part of the match without knowing it. They put it together and it worked so well.
In 2005, Jericho’s contract with WWE ended and he didn’t re-sign. He felt like he was just “there” and wasn’t being used and was in the middle of the card. He said that he was burned out with wrestling and didn’t want to do it anymore. He said that after SummerSlam, he took some acting lessons to try to figure out what was next; he said he learned how to ‘commit’ to a character and how to really drop into one and how to bring out real emotions. He used those lessons to help him in his return to the company in 2007-08.
After the above segment, Jericho said that this was one of his favorite matches of all time because it was the culmination of a 6-month story. He then said that he insisted that no one called him Y2J, because that character was done and he was moving on to a new phase of his career.
They then discuss Jericho’s return in 2016 and the creation of “The List”, as well as his confusing Tom Phillips and Mike Rome. He said that what really put it over was when he put The New Day on the list and how well they sold it. They then talked about how he put over the word “it”. He said that if you have confidence, then you can put anything over. This also included the term “stupid idiot”, which is a ridiculous term, but because he was so confident about it, it worked.
They then talk about Kevin Owens and the “Festival of Friendship”. Jericho said that he wanted to create a segment that ended up being similar to “The Red Wedding” from “Game of Thrones”. He said that on the day of the show, Vince wasn’t there and the powers that be said that they were going to change the segment and make it comedic. Jericho insisted that they keep it the way it was and he got the OK from Vince via text, and it ended up working.
This leads to a match between the two at WrestleMania 33. The original plan was to have that match be one of the main events, but once it got moved to the 2-spot and Brock Lesnar and Goldberg was going to be the main event, that was when Jericho knew it was time for him to move on.
At the very end of the interview, Jericho said that he loved working for WWE and working for Vince McMahon. However, he needed to move on in order to do more. They then talked about how he made the move to New Japan and working with Kenny Omega. This happened because of Don Callis, who made the connection between all parties involved. Vince McMahon ended up being cool with it and it ended up being one of the best matches that Jericho ever had.
Those matches were the catalyst for wrestling being fun for Jericho again since he had more control of what he could do with his character and his matches. This lead to the creation of AEW. They then talked about the future of AEW and what life was like working through the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that while it was really difficult to do that, fans appreciated all of the hard work that they did because people could tune in every week and forget about what was going on in the world.
The interview concluded by Austin and Jericho acknowledging that it wasn’t about WWE and AEW. It was about the wrestling business and connecting with fans; it’s about going above the business of wrestling. Jericho said that he’s not sure how long he will keep going; he said that moment he feels like he can’t be who he is, he’ll step away.
Overall, this was an outstanding interview that could change the history of the wrestling business forever. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a wrestling fan and a fan of WWE, AEW, or Chris Jericho!
“GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES! Click here to sign up for the exclusive Wrestling Rumors daily newsletter, delivered right to your inbox.”